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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  July 20, 2010 10:00am-1:00pm EDT

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host: why not? caller: we are a liability. host: and liability? caller: we will cost them money. we cannot do the job. that is not true. we are good workers. our experience over lies everything else and they do not want to pass. host: do you have certain salary requirements? caller: i need to find anything. michigan does the subsidize you. otherwise you live in your car. i want to know something else. why are they -- they get money every year from the government. no one says a thing about that. host: have you turned down any jobs? caller: no. host: think you for calling in. that will have to be the last word on this. that does it for today's "washington journal."
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we will be back tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. now we want to bring it to live coverage of a joint house energy and commerce subcommittee meeting. the secretary of the interior is there. they're focusing on the oil spill in the gulf. two subcommittees of the house of energy and commerce subcommittee. thank you for watching. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] .
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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to give this meeting will come to order. today we have a joint meeting. this is a joint hearing between the oversight investigation subcommittee and the energy and environment subcommittee. i will chair the first panel. german market will chair the second panel. we will now hear from members from their opening statements. -- chairman markee will tell
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the second panel. >> finally, the flow of oil that has ravaged much of the gulf of mexico is temporarily under control. despite our relief that the flow of oil has abated, the consequences of this bispill continued to mount. 11 men lost their lives on the day the brig exploded. and this is the fourth hearing of the oversight investigation that the subcommittee has held and 8 meeting over all. we expose serious deficiencies. this supposed failsafe had a dead battery, and the key hydraulic system, an emergency switch which failed to activate,
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and dangerous modifications. our second hearing wasn't field hearing in new orleans. -- our second hearing was a field hearing in new orleans. our third hearing identified five key will-design decisions relating to casing and cementing the increased risks of the blowout. bp made a series of poor judgment before the blowout. the company took one short cut after the other in order to save time and money, and when is the blowout occurred, they were horrifically and prepared to deal with the consequences. today the oversight investigation subcommittee and the energy and debarment subcommittee are jointly holding this hearing to examine the conduct of the regulators who have overseen oil and gas development in the gulf of mexico. there has been a pervasive still year by regulators to protect safety and the environment. -- there has been a pervasive
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failure by regulators to protect safety and the environment. the number of deep water wells increase from 65 in 1985 to more than 600 in 2009. the number of people working at the minerals management service have not kept pace with the complexity. mms had 55 inspectors and just 58 some years later. currently they have approximately 60 inspectors in the gulf of mexico to inspect almost 4000 facilities. inspection has not been a priority. and the department of interior also backed off when oil and gas industry objected to proposals to strengthen government regulation. reports prepared by mms recommended plot printers in
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question the reliability -- reports prepared by mms recommended blowup pretenders and questioned the reliability of the back of system. in oil and gas industry coalition, they opposed mandatory requirements. some helpful changes were made by secretary salazar in the obama administration. the abuse-prone program was days average. new ethical standards were adopted and stronger regulations were proposed. these changes were more cosmetic than substantive. i want to thank norton and kempthorne for appearing today. i hope they will address what
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went wrong under their tenure. i want to thank secretary salazar for appearing before the committee. i would like to hear more about what he has planned and how she will ensure that the changes make a real difference. i also want to extend my appreciation to chairman markey. we have work collaborative lee throughout the investigation, and i think in and chairman waxman brother of leadership in this area and with respect to the block prevention act that we have reported out of committee last week. that concludes my opening statement. i turned to mr. burgess for his opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we finally get an opportunity to talk to secretary salazar about some of the issues that led up to the events surrounding the loss of the deepwater horizon. early in the month of may we had
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the executives from bp and halliburton and transocean at the table. i was dismayed by all the finger-pointing i saw. jay leno referred to it in his opening monologue. he said president obama has had enough of it. no more finger-pointing and then he went out and blame the bush for the whole problem. and this hearing does come at a critical time. i am grateful we are able to defer to this in the past tense. we have had encouraging news that it seems under control. there is serious environmental and economic impacts to confront in the gulf. because this bill. some of the damage relates directly to the decision making in the aftermath of the deepwater horizon explosion. -- bp caused the spill. as people continue to clean up, the department of interior has
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made decisions upon the decision in recent weeks that make a lot of boards of 20,000 jobs in the gulf coast energy industry. some of this new wave of economic destruction is already occurring. this is when we're hitting people when they are down and need it the least. the governor of louisiana wrote a powerful piece and i would like to submit that for the record. in the editorial he describes what he sees as a determined effort by the secretary of the interior, the current secretary of the interior, to impose a second disaster on the people of louisiana. the second economic disasters is one of the most pressing issues before us, but there are other questions in determining the decision-making today. and the person most able to provide us this explanation is the current secretary of the interior, ken salazar. i appreciate finally having an opportunity to ask him about the
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department's role and the handling of the deepwater horizon incident. i understand the majority, which is to use the rearview mirror to talk about this disaster. this is so we may understand the totality of the department's contribution to the deepwater rise in disaster. for this reason we will share this morning from former secretaries of the agency. both are from the bush and administration. if we are not going back to question secretaries of the clinton -- we're not going back to question secretaries of the clinton administration. i look forward to their experience as former cabinet secretaries and former state elected officials. i question now as private citizens they can really provide the committee information as full and complete as we could otherwise obtained through
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agency documents through the current secretary of the interior. today secretary salazar will appear on a second panel. mr. secretary, mr. salazar, if you're watching on c-span, please come to the committee room. we need you appear. the american people need to hear. the people of the gulf coast of louisiana need to appear. this means oversight of the administration in power, not past administrations. committee request for documents from the department of interior have amounted to 2000 pages, a few e-mails, and other information. i hope we press for more cooperation, mr. chairman.
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by contrast, majority with minority support has aggressively investigated the companies associated with the disaster. 120,000 pages of documents all in the middle of one of the largest cleanup operations. this inhibits the committee's ability to get the full facts and circumstances behind this disaster. it inhibits our ability to understand fully current and ongoing actions in this administration to responding to this oil spill. this has raised technical, regulatory issues to imply the blowup protector and cementing problems can be traced to the administration, but the majority knows all available evidence suggests the disaster result is from the failure to call your existing regulation and best industry practices, not the george w. bush second set of sheer arms. we heard from the ladies who lost husbands on the deepwater
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horizon. they said we do not need more regulations, but we need someone to oversee an incident that are followed. and it was undersecretary salazar that the peace and nationabp's plan was reviewed ad approved. all the inspections of operations and procedures were approved leading up to the explosion. we had a single spinal cord response, a singles final chords synapse, when we should have many representing manual valuation. how has this affected the the department? do the inhibit the secretary to ensure safe well drilling operations? we also see the secretary appears to a snow or -- >> i am going to ask you to a
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finish up. >> i beg your indulgence to let me conclude. >> we have a large group. we're not when to let anyone go over time limits. i asked you to finish. >> the question we need to answer is what is going on based on that sound agency analysis, given what we know of offshore safety experience. certainly we should try to gather information on past actions that contributed to their career response problems. i would like to understand whether the oil companies had to rely on fall to government programs -- >> [inaudible] >> thank you. >> we're going to keep strict
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time limits today. we of a full panel. we're going to observe the time limits. that is for everybody. >> i think you for your leadership, and chairman waksman's leadership on this on issue. i do believe president obama is wise in the maintenance of his moratorium in deep waters. if we are going to drill in the borders, we should ensure it is safe and that in the events of late accident, the response would be fast. right now we're not sure that that is the case. oil is not the result of spontaneous generation. the conditions are set millions of years before. organisms die and decay. heat, pressure, and time to the rest. just as with the slow creation
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of also tools, at the conditions that created the bp disaster in the gulf were put in motion many years ago. increasing pressure from the oil industry to relax regulations and the willingness of regulators to take the heat of companies did the rest. 10 years before the bp oil spill in january of 2000, a directive issued by the department of interior under the clinton administration's stated that the methods used to model spills are not adequate to predict the behavior of spills in deep water. and that a new model would be required. unfortunately, this never happens. the bush administration never followed through. nine years and three months before the bp oil spill, just two weeks after taking office, president bush created the cheney energy task force. the task force met in secret, largely with representatives of the oil, gas, and other energy
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industries. a little less before the nine years, the cheney energy task force submitted its report. their report asserts that exploration and production from the outer continental shelf has inexpressive environmental record. the report further states that existing laws and regulations were creating delays and uncertainties that can hinder proper energy exploration and production projects. we are warned that substantial economic risks remain to investment in deepwater, and that the interior department must therefore be directed to consider economic incentives for environmentally sound offshore oil and gas development. with the jini task force report, the first condition for the disaster -- with the cheney task force report, the first
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condition of the disaster was set in place. eight years before this bilspil they expanded the royalty greet drilling. and financial incentives were not enough. the bush administration's interior department made the choice to assert that a catastrophic spill could not occur. seven years before this bill, the bush administration extended most of all of mexico lease holders from having to include oilwell scenarios in their oil and gas exploration or production plants. oil companies were also no longer required to say how long it would take to drill a relief well and how a blowout could be contained by capping the well. bp included no such information and its plans for the deepwater horizon well. three years to the month before this, in april of 2007, the
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environmental and tax statement approved by the bush administration for drilling in the gulf of mexico said that since ziplocs are rare events and a short erasion, the potential impacts to marine water quality are not expected to be significant. the analysis concluded that the most like the size of a large oil spill would be a total of 4,600 barrels, and that the subsurface flow out what had a negligible impact on global of mexico's official resources or commercial fishing. a few months later, in 2007, in the bush administration's interior department it completed another in garman to review and issued a finding of no new significant impact. no further environmental review was needed according to the bush administration. on april 20, 2010, the
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regulatory house of cards collapsed with the explosion on the bp deepwater horizon rig. today we will hear from the nation's last three secretaries of interior who presided over the leasing of offshore oil and gas since january 2001. i welcome the secretaries, and we look forward to their testimony. >> thank you. >> what happened on the deepwater horizon rig, was truly a national tragedy. we hope the recently installed will capful hold and not an ounce of oil leak from that will ever again. our focus needs to shift to the cleanup in getting people back to work. citizens of the gulf are facing unprecedented hardships. they do not need to be further burdened by a job-killing policies.
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we want answers. we must work to ensure disaster like this never happens again. and since that exploded and the millions of gallons of oil leaked into the gulf, the economy has been weekend. the joint investigation and the cause of the deepwater verizon are currently being conducted by the coast guard and mms. in addition, president obama announced a presidential commission that will investigate and report. the team of engineers tapped by secretary salazar to determine what went wrong recently wrote we believe the blowout was caused by a complex and highly- improbable chain of human errors coupled with equipment failures and was preventable. the petroleum industry will learn from this. it can and will do better. we should not be satisfied until there are no deaths and no environmental impacts of short ever. however, we must understand
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that with any human endeavor there will always be risks. secretary salazar pointed to this team of engineers to rationalize the moratorium. not only did they disagree, so did the courts. the gulf accounts for nearly a third of the united states oil production. knee-jerk reactions and finger- pointing will not make drilling any safer, and certainly is not productive for the citizens of the call. let us learn from this mistake, fix the problem, clean up the gulf and move forward to fix the ailing economy and create private sector jobs. i yield back. >> thank you. chairman waxman for an opening statement. >> thank you for holding this hearing. i think it is an important hearing. during the last three months since the explosion and blowout,
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this committee and its subcommittee has held seven hearings, and those hearings have focused on the actions of bp and other oil and gas industries. we have learned that they repeatedly made dangerous crisis to save time and money. transocean blowout preventer had a dead battery, a leaking hydraulic system, and other serious flaws. we learned the antheientire oil industry is under appeared to deal with a significant blow up. today will look examine the role of the regulators. we will learn that the department of interior under president bush and president obama made serious mistakes. this gave rise to a dangerous culture of permissiveness. secretary salazar has testified before several committees, and we welcome his appearance today. what makes this hearing unique
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is that we will be cheering from two of his predecessors. gail norton and dirk canckempso. cohen many ways this history begins with vice-president cheney's quku secret task force. -- secret task force. they met privately for weeks. four months later the vice- president release a report describing the new energy strategy for the administration. the report directed the interior
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department to consider economic incentives port environmentally sound offshore oil and gas development. as recommended in the report, president bush immediately issued an executive order that will increase the production of energy. secretary norton led the implementation of the bush strategy for the department of interior. she promoted new incentives and royalty programs to encourage drilling, but she failed to act on safety warnings about a blowout preventers. she rejected proposals to strengthen standards for scementing wells. the priority was more drilling first, and 62nd. and secretary norton left amid the scandals involving jack abramoff to work as general counsel for shell. her successor oversaw the lease
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sale to bp of the future mcconnell well. he also oversaw the deeply flawed assessment of the potential of the empire medal impacts associated with this lease sale, an assessment that did not anticipate the possibility or impacts of a catastrophic blow out. as a result of the assessments, bp did not have to include an oil spill response discussion or cite specific oil spill response plan or a scenario in its exploration plan. in many ways congress was complicitous in this oversight. the energy policy act of 2005 granted royalty relief and subsidies of the inventory -- industry, but cosdid not
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strengthen response. in the department's budget, secretary salazar requested more inspectors for offshore facilities, but there is little evidence of these reforms change the approach of mms and regulating the bp well. the april 20 blowout was a wake- up call for this administration and for congress. secretary salazar is now reorganizing mms, issued a 30- day safety reports, and developed a plan to reinvent the organization, and was asked to examine -- >> we will leave this hearing.
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the u.s. house is about to gavel and for morning speeches. we will return to the hearing as soon as the gavel and to recess. right now live house coverage right here on c-span. . .
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>> the u.s. house will start speeches here shortly. now live coverage of the u.s. house here on c-span. expressly prohibited by the
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u.s. house of representatives.] the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., july 20, 2010. i hereby appoint the honorable henry cuellar to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, nancy pelosi, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 6, 2009, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate . the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to 30 minutes and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip limited to five minutes. the chair recognizes the
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gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, for five minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i appreciate the time. i'd like to recognize an outstanding constituent and a dedicated public servant, anna fotorio, who will be retiring after 30 years of public service as the associate aviation director for miami-dade county. anna has worked tirelessly to ensure that miami international airport remains one of the finest airports in the world. as a recipient of the inter national women in business award, anna must be commended for receiving this distinguished and prestigious award last year. her exceptional leadership in promoting and enhancing trade and international business between miami international airport and the americas is truly inspiring. in addition, anna's advocacy on capitol hill helped miami international airport become the number one international
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cargo airport and the number two international passenger airport. anna, enjoy your well-deserved retirement and your extra time with family and friends. and, mr. speaker, speaking of wonderful people who deserve our congratulations, i'd like to recognize all of the caring teachers in my south florida community and commend them for their wonderful contributions to the development of our children. as a woman who has been on all sides of our education system, as a student, as a former florida certified teacher, as a recipient of a doctorate from the university of miami in education, and as a proud parent and grandmother, i truly know how instrumental and exceptional a teacher can be. teachers have the power to intreeing and open whole new horizons and visas for our youth, setting them on a path of high hopes and expectations for the future. a teacher can inspire a child in a specific subject matter such as math, science, art or history, and fundamentally
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alter, often focusing their enthusiasm. and there are few greater rewards than the satisfaction gained from instilling a life-long love of learning in a child. fulfilling this great responsibility takes a tremendous degree of perseverance and commitment from our teachers. our educators' unwavering dedication give our students the ambition to achieve one of the most important -- one of the most important aspects of life's endeavors, love of learning. these teachers are driven to present each and every child with the opportunity that they so rightfully deserve. certainly, south florida and the keys, areas that i represent, are fortunate to have many outstanding educators such as the ones that i have described. educators who are willing to do whatever possible to ensure that our students are the best in our great nation. their commitment to our community and to our students is exemplary and we are forever grateful for their services. it was our teachers many years
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ago who gave us legislators the foundations and the directions that we needed to get ahead. each person in this great elected body is testimony to the talent and commitment of their hardworking teachers along the way. i am certainly grateful for the support i received while in school and i'm sure i would not be the same person without it. and i will be forever be a product of the florida public education system. i graduated from west miami middle school, southwest miami senior high school. i have an associates arts degree from the miami-dade school, all public institutions. as an older adult, as i mentioned, i completed a doctorate in education from the university of miami. but even if i finished my education at the high school level, other than family, there has been no greater influence who all of us than our teachers. through the mentoring of our
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teachers, students are provided with near limitless potential and possibilities. teachers make sure that children can be creative with their minds. they get their minds on a task and this education will allow them to accomplish the many great things that they want to achieve throughout their lifetime. this continues to be my guiding principle, inspired by me by my many great teachers, allowing me to work tirelessly for my community. today's students will be undoubtedly be inspired with unwavering commitment to bettering our community and our country. for the professionalism and the care that our teachers have shown in the pursuit of this most noble of profession, i thank each of them from the bottom of my heart. they have shaped the lives of countless students and we are truly privileged to have such wonderful individuals taking on this great challenge. mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to submit the names of the teachers who have received awards for excellence in education throughout south
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florida and the florida keys in this past school year and with the speaker's indulgence i'd like to put these names in the congressional record at this time. i thank the speaker for the time and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, for five minutes. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. speaker. last week we celebrated the 45th anniversary of the adoption of the older americans act. later this month we'll celebrate the 45th anniversary of medicare, and next month the 75th anniversary of social security. seniors are vital to our communities having spent a lifetime building and shaping this nation. increasingly, our seniors have been able to make important contributions throughout all of their lives, volunteering their time, mentoring our youth and often remaining active in the work force. as a former chairman of fairfax county, virginia, i was proud of the work i helped lead in the creation of a 50-plus action plan outlining more than
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60 initiatives to support our senior population. we expanded transportation opportunities, ensured communities were planned to provide housing options for all ages, pursued respite options for caregivers and it was necessary to bring that focus to washington. this congress has made strategic investments to assist these efforts through actions such as the edward m. kennedy serve act, the expanded opportunities for seniors to remain active, but it wasn't always this way which is why we needed the older americans act. the older americans act facilitates the provisions of necessary social services, nutritional support to seniors through a partnership through various state agencies in addition to establishing the national family caregiver support system recognizing the critical role that family caregivers provide and the need to make sure they have the necessary resources. that act also provides for home-based services, disease
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prevention and wellness programs to promote better health. the older americans act was a continuation of the improvements in the quality of life begun in 1935 when congress enacted the social security act. the poverty rate among seniors in 1935 exceeded 45%. today, it is 10%. few act of congress have made such dramatic difference on a single demographic group. in addition to the older americans act, in 1955 medicare was established to protect seniors' health. before its enactment, almost half of all senior citizens lacked health insurance. given the traditionly higher cost of senior health care without medicare, for many americans there was no prospect of health insurance. our efforts to further enhance the quality of life for our nation's senior citizens continue to this day. the health care reform act enhances medicare benefits.
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what's interesting to me is i was a young high school debater when medicare was adopted and the national high school debate topic that year was, would the adoption of medicare constitute socialized medicine in america? would it in fact discourage the private sector? would it in fact look a lot more like the health care system in the united kingdom or canada? much of the rhetoric we hear today about health care reform was echoed 45 years ago today against social security, and much of it came from the same sources who oppose health care reform today. they consistently opposed medicare. and yet when you go to a retirement community, when you meet with seniors across this country, certainly in my district, i can't find one who thinks that we ought to repeal medicare. they know that medicare has made a huge difference in the quality of their lives, and from going from being maybe the
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most vulnerable demographic group in america in terms of health care coverage, today they are the most protected. that's the efficacy of an effective government program that has made a difference in the quality of lives. mr. speaker, as we celebrate the anniversaries of the older americans act, the social security act and medicare, we also celebrate the adoption of the health care reform act that will make the same kind of difference in years to come and millions of lives now and in the future. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded not to traffic the well while another member is under recognition. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. stearns, for five minutes. mr. stearns: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. stearns: good morning, mr. speaker. with the united states' unemployment rate steadily hovering around about 10%, americans are continuing to ask, where are the jobs?
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the response to this jobless crisis from congressional democrats and the obama administration seems to be focused on higher taxes, increased government spending and more government mandates and more regulation. all of this has led to great uncertainty in the business community, especially among small businesses which employ over half of all private sector employee jobs. mr. speaker, in a recently released letter, the u.s. chamber of commerce explains how the current policies of the administration and congressional democrats are not working. the high spending and high tax agenda has created an atmosphere of uncertainty. as the chamber's letter correctly states, quote, uncertainty is the enemy of growth, investment and job creation. through their legislative and regulatory proposal, some passed, some spending, some pending and others simply talked about, the congressional
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majority and the administration have injected tremendous uncertainty into the economic decisionmaking process and business planning. this is why banks are reluctant to lend and why american corporations are sitting on well over $1 trillion. it is why americas small businesses and entrepreneurs, the engines of innovation and job creation, are starving for capital and are either struggling to survive or simply unable to expand. in the process we are also eroding our competitive position globally. as other nations take steps to cut taxes, reduce regulation and restrain the appetite of big government, for awful these reasons, the unknown and known costs of expanding operations and adding to payroll of the united states are perceived to be too high. as the chamber letter's highlights, the continuing expansion of the federal government into all areas of our economy is stunning --
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stunting economic growth and prohibiting private sector job creation. the democrats' congressional agenda includes one piece of job-killing legislation after another. the new health care law includes thousands of expensive and burden dl some mandates and hundreds -- burdensome mandates and hundreds of thousands of business taxes and penalties and includes thousands of pages of new regulation to be followed by individuals, employers, health care providers and states. the house-passed climate change bill, the cap and trade bill, would create nearly 1,500 new regulations and mandates and carry a price tag of over $1 trillion, according to the chamber. furthermore, the environmental protection agency is engaging in an unprecedented level of regulatory action by moving forward with 29 major economic rules and 173 major policy rules. and the list keeps coming. the recently passed financial
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regulatory reform legislation creates 243 new formal rulemaking rules by 11 different federal agencies, 47 studies and 74 reports. it is really no wonder american businesses are hesitant to expand and to hire. in addition to the regulatory uncertainty, the federal government's appetite for spending needs to be controlled. american families and small businesses are simply making tough choices in this economic climate but federal spending continues to sore. they are running up a $1.5 trillion deficit in 2010, the largest deficit since the end of world war ii. recently, yearly budget deficits have reached unprecedented levels, accounting for 11% of the g.d.p. by comparison, the historical average, budget deficit is only
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2.9% of the combpped. in 2008, publicly held debt as a percentage of the g.d.p. was about 20% -- 21%, nearly five points below the postwar average. now, under president obama's average, this would nearly double to 90% of the g.d.p. in 2020. this poses serious economic risk to this country. as the chamber letter notes, quote, by crowding out available capital for business expansion and eventually triggering increased interest rates and inflation, rising deficits and -- creates uncertainty and smothers job creation. the way out of this recession and towards job creation is to get the federal spending simply under control, enact policies that free up capital and encourage businesses to grow, eliminate the uncertainty. we need to reduce it, restore
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confident in our economy. we cannot do this if the administration and congressional democrats continue to impose more and more burdensome mandates and increased taxes on job creators. it's time to reduce the unnecessary meddling of the federal government and let the american entrepreneurial spirit flourish. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from new york, mrs. maloney, for five minutes. mrs. maloney: mr. speaker, for too long the heros and survivors of the 9/11 attacks have struggled to receive the health care and compensation that they need and deserve. they came to ground zero to aid in america's recovery. now, we must aid in their recovery. after 8 1/2 years of hard work, we are closer than ever to
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passing h.r. 847, the 9/11 help and compensation act. the bill, which would provide health care and compensation is nearly consideration on the house floor next week. but another tragedy threatens the health of cleanup workers, the warnings from 9/11 must be heeded as crews restore the gulf after the b.p. oil spill. i urge my colleagues to remember and support those who aid our country in time of need. we were there for -- they were there for us. we must be there for them with our support. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona, mr. mitchell, for five minutes. mr. mitchell: mr. speaker, i
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rise in support of bipartisan legislation i introduced yesterday with my colleague, congressman brian bilbray, to stop the dropped houses act. the government's failure to secure the border and fix our broken immigration system has allowed smugglers and mexican cartels to set up vast drop houses which serves as waste stations. in phoenix we have as many as 1,000 drop houses. they are dangerous magnets for violent crime. even more alarming is the fact that a loophole in federal law prevents authorities from being -- for using civil forfeitures to seize these houses. authorities can seize vehicles or even airplanes but they can't use civil forfeiture against the actual drop houses itself. the stop drop houses act would close the loophole and allow authorities to use civil forfeitures to seize these drop houses. obviously it will take much more to fix our broken system,
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but this is one obvious and important step that congress can take right now to make our communities safer. i urge my colleagues to pass the stop the drop houses act, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey, mr. payne, for five minutes. mr. payne: thank you, mr. speaker. i believe that it is critical to our economic recovery to extend unemployment benefits for several more months and assist struggling states and local governments so they can avoid layoffs of teachers, police officers, firefighters and others. right now there are 15 million out-of-work americans who are waiting on the senate to extend unemployment benefits which contributes to paying mortgages, health care, utility bills and the cost of food. the democratic unemployment
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bill would provide unemployment checks averaging about $300 to people whose 26 weeks of state-paid benefits have run out. the benefits would be extended through the end of november. we know these benefits not only are much-needed lifeline for jobless americans and their families, they will also provide a proven boost to our struggling economy. mr. speaker, the democrats are fighting to help middle-class americans while the majority of the republicans are blocking a commonsense bill at a time of great economic challenge. i urge the senate to pass the unemployment extension so that those americans who are seeking employment every day as they go and look at the websites and visit companies and are told there is no work, how coot republicans then say that extelling unemployment is going
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to -- extending unemployment is going to keep people from looking for work? they want work. we know that the jobs are gone. we need to re-create jobs. so let's save middle america so they will be able to provide the needs of their families. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. quigley, for five minutes. mr. quigley: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today because women's reproductive rights are under attack. four months ago we passed a health care bill to ensure that every man, woman and child in this country have access to the medical care they need. yesterday a rule was announced that restricts choice coverage in the new high-risk insurance pool. even if the woman pays for that coverage with her own money. this rule means women with
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pre-existing conditions such as cancer, aids, diabetes, who have been denied coverage and are counting on the high-risk pools won't be able to get reproductive health care coverage, not even if they way for it with their own money. this incomplete care is not what our mothers, daughters, sisters, wives need. this is not the status quo. we must remember the health care bill we passed, protect a woman's right to choose and stop this harmful provision before it takes effect. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until no
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>> i would like to hear about the interiors role in making this decision. the report done by a renowned economist states that the loss of 8000 jobs is over a 2.1 billion in economic activity will be triggered in just a first six months of the moratorium. the administration would have been better advised to stop the flow of oil instead of stopping the drilling moratorium. mr. chairman, i look forward to hearing the testimony today and
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i yield back. >> a thank you. mr. doyle for an opening statement. >> i am grateful for the excellent work this committee has done on investigating the causes of the deepwater horizon accident and in addressing them through legislation. if there is any silver lining to the tragedy, i hope it is a renewed effort to engage in intelligent regulations of the industries that operate our lands and water. like most of you, and frustrated to learn that permits were granted without proper safety requirements or oral spill response plans -- or oil spill response plans. it is even more frustrating to learn that required environmental impact statements were weighed so that drilling the well could commence more quickly. unfortunately, that seemed to set the tone for drilling on the deepwater horizon.
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andbp cut steps every step of the way. it resulted in one of the worst environmental tragedies we have ever seen, and further economic cards shipped in communities along the call. mr. chairman, today i am not interested in assigning blame. i think there is enough to go around. instead, i hope we recognize what a great opportunity we have with the secretaries from the last 10 years before us. i want to thank secretary norton and kempthorne for being here today. if we're going to continue accessing the oil and gas resources in the gulf of mexico, we need smarter and more sufficient regulations of the industry. this tragedy has proved of the blowout preventer is not a safe to all of last resort. we're working in the congress to bring about super technologies and developments. much of this research and
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development is being done in my hometown of pittsburgh at the national energy technology laboratory. we are entirely capable of producing technologies that bring us into the 20 percent rate of energy development. mr. chairman, i think you and look forward to the testimony today. -- we are entirely capable of producing technologies that bring us into the 21st century of energy development. >> as a member of the subcommittee i was presidenprest the meeting where we will able to pose questions to tony hayward. at the outset at immediately raised concerns as to why we cannot also gearing from the administration that discusses the oversight role to help avoid future accidents of this nature.
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despite the efforts and the economic and environmental discuss couldn't predict a specia-- destruction, i am disappointed that invested in three months to hear from the secretary of the interior. what was the role of interior leading up to end in the aftermath of the explosion on april 20 at? have the reorganization efforts in any way impeded interior from being able to properly investigate and respond to the crisis? in fact, what is the purpose of renaming mms to the bureau of ocean energy management regulation and enforcement? does that only creates confusion for the public, media, members of congress? lastly, what impact will the administration's decision to impose a six-month moratorium have on the gulf coast ability
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to create jobs and make custouss dependent on foreign oil? i am pleased that we're finally hearing from the administration on the deep water rises disaster. i hope we do not use the hearing to simply score political points. today we have the opportunity to move forward with answers and ideas for reform. we owe it to the families who lost loved ones on april 20. we owe it to the gulf coast region that has continued to struggle economically, and finally, we owe it to our country as we continue to sit compecompete successfully in the global economy. i yield back. . .
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>> while we need immediate regulatory reform, we must also people and forward-thinking in our response grid a legacy of a safer and cleaner energy policy is the only possible silver lining to be found in this unthinkable catastrophe, and it is what many of us on this side of the aisle have been pushing for four years. there are lots of ideas and proposals to draw from. unlike its predecessor, the
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obama administration has made immediate investments in renewable and alternative sprit the best way to protect the environment is to use less energy. increased efficiencies and renewals can create jobs and boost our domestic economy. these advances can be implemented now with immediate benefits the result, and finally freeing us from the costly oil addiction would be a fitting to did to those caring the terrible tragedy in -- a fitting tribute to those during the terrible tragedy in the gulf. i yield back. >> opening statement, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for holding this hearing on the role of the department of the interior in the teapot rise in disaster. i would like to welcome -- the deep water horizon disaster. i would like to welcome
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secretary kempthorne, secretary norton. not only of lives and lost, but massive amounts of oil have been leaked into the ocean, causing horrific effects. environmental and economic. it is imperative that we thoroughly understand what happened aboard the deepwater verizon before, during, and after the explosion so that it never happens again. indeed, it is of utmost importance that due diligence be done by those investigating the root causes of the deepwater horizon blowout explosion. i'm anxious to read the reports that have been commissioned once they are finished. i have several questions for our witnesses today which focus on the offshore drilling moratorium and the reorganization of mms. i would like to know whether the change-up in mms has helped or hindered mms' ability to
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investigate and respond to the current crisis. regarding the moratorium, i was struck by gov. bobby jindal's editorial in "the washington post" this weekend where he characterized the moratorium as kill-advised and ill-considered, adding that will do nothing to clean up the gulf of mexico and is already doing great harm to many hard-working citizens. i am interested to hear the administration's rationale for the original moratorium and their rationale for continuing to pursue this policy even after it has been struck down in the courts. louisiana and the coastal states are already facing a horrific disaster, and we should make sure that this moratorium does not worsen the blow. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses today, and i yield back. >> opening statement, two minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for holding this hearing today.
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i want to know to that it has been 91 days since this disaster began and congress has held many hearings in recent weeks. we have also begun to move it relevant pieces of legislation. it was and remains important to make sure that the families of those men who died on this raid at appropriate records and means to move on with their lives -- who died on this rig have a proper recourse and means to move on with their lives. i thank the chairman of for holding this hearing today. we have been drilling in the gulf of mexico for decades and our coastal states are on to the most sophisticated technology and the world, but the strategy -- this tragedy it shows that -- the minerals management service, an m.s., or bureau of ocean energy management, as is
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now called, should play an important oversight role. it is the department's responsibility to protect the environment that we all call home. it is apparent that this function was performed inadequately in the lead up set deepwater horizon. i applauded the secretary and current employees of the agency or recognizing the weaknesses and working hard to correct them. i support the secretary of your request for increasing the number of inspectors available to ensure that safety requirements are adhered to in the gulf. they can work with leading mines and offshore production to ensure that we supply the country with the domestic energy. i would like to say that while louisiana and other states face the encouraging tide of oil, i intend to make sure that another wave of economic devastation does not deliver a second strike to might state. the current deepwater moratorium and the fact of shallow water moratorium have led to hundreds if not thousands
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of lost jobs and threatened to decimate the rest of the economy along the coast of louisiana, at least whatever economy there is left after the spill has done its damage. these moratoriums are ill- advised ad in some cases could thee more damage on informant. i believe that we must ask ourselves, does this moratorium make us any safer? what is the real cost to our economy? i thank you again for holding this hearing and i look forward to discussing the issue of the moratorium and the drilling and clean up in the gulf of mexico. i yield back the balance of my time. >> mr. sullivan, opening statement, please. >> chairman markey, chairman stupak, thank you for holding this hearing today regarding the deepwater horizon incident.
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i will, secretary salazar to this hearing, as well as two -- i welcome secretary salazar to this hearing, as well as two former secretaries, to kempthorne and gale norton. i believe that we must do everything in our power to find out what caused this explosion and to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again. unfortunately, the administration is prematurely acting on this tragedy from a regulatory ankle while the investigation to this disaster is not complete. it is why i am furious at the department of interior issuing a new build-advised moratorium on responsible offshore drilling -- i knew elegized more time on responsible offshore drilling. -- a new ill-advised moratorium on responsible offshore drilling. this risk killing between 20,000 and 50,000 jobs and will increase our reliance on foreign oil at a time when our nation's economy can least afford it.
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during this hearing and it's doing investigation, it is important that we not lose sight of the fact that much of our crude oil comes from offshore and if we were to ban or restrict offshore drilling, we would simply increase our dependence on foreign oil, which makes our nation less secure and in the short-term and long-term increases the cost of energy. i am pleased to see secretary salazar before us today, given the integral role in offshore drilling operations. it is important to get his take on what safety lapses occurred and whatever regulatory breakdowns happened that contributed to this terrible accident. i am also interested in hearing his justification for the continuing moratorium on drilling. i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you. opening statement. >> i, too, with my opening
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statement and we like to welcome secretary -- waive my opening statement and would like to welcome secretary norton and secretary kempthorne. >> when the then-senator kempthorne was in the senate, he was on the senate intelligence committee. i served on the house intelligence committee for eight years, and i remember well the times we collaborated on a bipartisan, sensible policy to hopefully add to our intelligence capability in the effort to keep our country is safe. i would like to think that if senator kempthorne were back in the senate, or were to do so the astonishing and become a house member and sit on this panel, he would want us to work on a bipartisan, bicameral basis to solve this problem. he is nodding his head, so he
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would. i welcome that. i am delighted to see you again. this is not about, or should not be about, the blame game, as many have said on both sides. i don't see it that way. i see it as a clear disaster both in environmental and human terms, but one that we should come together to fix. this committee has a long record of fixing tough problems and crafting a regulatory schemes that work. mr. chairman, i will to the testimony of our witnesses and i welcome -- i welcome the testimony of our witnesses and i welcome secretary kempthorne and our other former interior secretary to help us solve this problem. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. hall for opening statement, please. >> i am pleased that we're having this hearing today. i would like to thank the hon.
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gale norton and the hon. kempthorne. and of course, secretary ken salazar. after three full months, we are still trying to figure out what the precise causes of what happened on the deepwater horizon. the sun came up on april 20 -- may 20, june 20, and now today it is exactly, time wise, july 20. i have in my area of friend whose twin brother's boy it was one of the 11 who was lost their pri we felt all loss in the northeast part of texas. what unnerves me and gives me problems is the president's first statements about this, when he said, "have we come to this," using to trash all energy thrust, and not try to redistribute the wealth, but
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apparently trying to destroy the world if it is involved in the energy business, not to -- apparently trying to destroy the wealth it is involved in the energy business we need to be producing our own energy through the bill from several years ago that included not just a drilling, but all of the above. these unanswered questions that should serve to advise against temptation to over react to the disaster, especially given the importance of the oil and gas industry to the gulf coast economy and america's energy dependence goals. i am troubled by the rushed to pass legislation on this. these bills will not solve the ongoing problems in the gulf. i believe we need to reevaluate the safety procedures and drilling procedures to fix what went wrong and make sure it does not happen again. that is what i am told these investigations are doing as we
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speak only once we know exactly what happened can we address the problem. we need to learn and to prevent overreaction and over-regulating the oil industry before we know what went wrong. and makes sense to continue improvements to safe and responsible drilling operations, as well as systems, but to impose a drilling moratorium is a knee-jerk reaction that will not solve the problem, will not clean up the spill. we should lift the moratorium in the leak and get these folks back to work. -- we should lift the moratorium immediately and get these folks back to work. >> mr. butterfield, opening statement, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for convening this important hearing, and i thank the two witnesses for their testimony the fact remains that the damage is done. while much of our attention has centered on the environmental
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impact, let us not forget that the explosion killed am11 american citizens. as the facts come into clearview, it appears that the company's bottom line -- yes, its bottom line -- not safety, and strong bipartisan regulations are necessary to ensure that the public's trust -- ensure the public's trust the agreement between the people and these corporations to permit offshore drilling is meant to guarantee the safety and security of these irreplaceable resources while furthering commerce. unfortunately, the technology of deep sea drilling has far outpaced the rulemaking and oversight needed to provide the public with the security and certainty. we must use today's hearing to clarify the politics, the choice is made within the minerals management service. without understanding of the
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principles that took us to this point, we cannot be expected to write better policy in the future. this is a tragedy that necessitates a review and, yes, overall, our strategy -- of our strategy. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> mr. shadegg for opening statements. >> i want to thank you for holding this important hearing. it is critical to the nation, both for environmental reasons and also for energy reasons, that we find out what went wrong. someone to blame the lack of regulatory structure, -- somewhat to blame the lack of regulatory structure, others want to blame the lack of enforcement. there may have in blatant violations of the law. most of the evidence we've heard
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so far it has indicated that bp was a bad actor, that in the drilling of this well and construction and operation, it ignored warnings time and time again and cut corners. we need to find out exactly what happened in this incident and make sure that no bad actors can ever engaged in that kind of conduct ever again. that is essential not only for the protection of our environment, but also for the protection of our economy. it is important to point out that this is a process that is necessary for the sake of our future. it is not and should not be of blame ga -- a blame gaming or assigning task. that is that the purpose of these hearings. what we need to do -- that is not to the purpose of these hearings. will we need to do is figure out what went wrong. i believe that this is a crisis to be addressed and resolved and make sure it never happens again. i am deeply concerned about the moratorium that has been enacted, and i share the
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comments of many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who are concerned about the moratorium, which the administration has imposed. i believe that the moratorium was ill-advised and i find not surprising that it was rejected both by the united states district court and then the united states circuit court of appeals. i am surprised that the administration, in enacting that initial moratorium on a report which secretary salazar apparently changed after he received recommendations from the scientists who wrote it. indeed, i have a letter which i will put into the record or 18 of the scientists who worked on the report say misrepresents their views. it seems to me that we should have been looking at a narrow moratorium, one that only look that bad actors and was not open ended in time and was focused on things that we knew that were wrong. i look forward to the testimony about what is this so that we
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can try to discern what action we need to take to make to that this never happens again. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for calling today's hearing. i would like to thank secretary salazar and former secretaries kempthorne and norton for appearing before us today. the oil spill reminds us of the dangers of offshore drilling, and the environmental and economic impact was the thing goes wrong. it has raised some of the questions about industry practices and regulatory standards -- it has raised a significant questions about industry practices and regulatory standards. we learned that bpa toward important safety precautions and largely dismissed -- bp ignored important safety precautions and largely dismissed best practices that could have prevented such an accident. we know that there are issues with mms and oversight of offshore drilling activities.
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bp and the government need to ensure that the will is but properly and permanently plug. moreover, with the cost of the debacle now pushing $4 billion, not including lives lost, livelihoods in peril, and environmental degradation, we must make sure that nothing like this ever happens again. within that context, congress must continue to examine the interior department's role now and in the past in regards to the oversight and management of these critical regulatory bodies at. thank you, mr. chairman, for calling today's hearing. i yield back the balance of my time. >> ms. blackburn for opening statement, please. >> as we have another of our feelings on what happened with the deepwater horizon, i think it is so important that we
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remember and express our sympathies to the families that are in the gulf region that in so deeply impacted with this. i grew up in south mississippi, and every time i call home, or and talking with friends from college or friends that i grew up with, or family members, i am again reminded of the the very deep and personal impact, whether it is the loss of life, the loss of jobs, the loss of faith in the institutions that we have, the loss of faith in the employer, the frustration with government agencies, the frustration with the slow response time. there really is many lessons to be learned, and we need to be respectful of that process. so i thank you all for being here with us today as we continue to work through this process, and as you have heard
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from my colleagues, this is something that we want to review, not place blame, but get it right, and make certain that a steadfast process is in place. three questions i am going to have or the secretary and two former secretaries -- for the secretary and the two former secretaries -- i want to get your thoughts on the new moratorium. what is this going to do to save the jobs? how is this going to help business investment? i find it counterintuitive when i am talking to people in the gulf. secondly, i want to hear from the secretary on why his department has failed to comply with numerous requests by members of congress for documents on response to this bill and the cleanup operations. i say this because it due to the frustration with bp and government agencies and this administration, people have come to their member of congress and
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have not received -- we have not been able to get the information that we need. third, i want to know from the secretary how they think the new department of bureau of ocean energy is going to police waste, fraud, and abuse of federal funds and actually conduct regulatory oversight. mr. chairman, i thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. opening statement, please. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. in the face of this unprecedented disaster, at every branch of government must be part of the solution, cleaning up the mess, and ending the flow, compensating adequately the people, and of course, preventing this from happening again. of course, we have to understand what happened, and that is the focus of this hearing i appreciate so much of the witnesses that are here today, so that we can look at the department of interior.
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but i have not heard much about the responsibility of this congress and this committee. after all, we did hear about the inspector general's report, december 8, 2008, about the staff at mms and its and gratuities, etc. we do about that. hindsight, of course, is 20-20, but the failures of and bp were noble as well. we had hearings about the refinery -- the failures of bp were noble as well. we had hearings about the refinery fire. the number of inspectors at mms has risen only from 55 people in 1985 to 60 today, while the number of wells has increased from 65 to 602. clearly we will have to have
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more inspectors. our committee will have to be more involved in an ongoing basis in oversight and we are going to have the proper systems and proper resources in place to get the job done. this is clearly part of that investigation. we have to see ourselves as an integral part of the solution as well. i thank you, mr. chairman, for making sure that that is the case. >> an opening statement, two minutes, please. >> no other state has been more affected by the bp disaster than my home state of louisiana. we battled the affects each and every day. but make no mistake, the effects of this disaster is reaching beyond the louisiana state line but the jobs being lost now or american jobs, and the marshlands where the oil continues to infiltrate our american wetlands and the first line of defense against hurricanes and storms. mms, just weeks before the
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explosion, certify that the rig in the block for better met safety requirements and was allowed to keep operating. if the plot provider was intended to be the last line of the -- if the blowout preventer was intended to be the last line of defense, the regulatory agency was intended to be the first line of defense. president obama and his administration are taking what is already a human and environmental tragedy and turning it into an economic tragedy by continuing to pursue a reckless and harmful moratorium on offshore drilling. this ban will result in the loss of over 40,000 high-paying louisiana jobs and believe america more dependent on middle eastern oil. some suggest we have to choose between sippy and jobs. this is a false choice. we'd -- between safety and jobs. this is a false choice.
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this ban has nothing to do with ensuring safety. instead, it exploits this disaster in an effort to pursue a political agenda. a majority of the experts handpicked by this administration to do an initial safety report oppose this moratorium and have said that a six-month drilling moratorium will reduce long-term safety. some might claim that a pause on drilling is a reasonable step to take, but mistake, there is no such thing as hitting a magical pause button on offshore drilling by issuing a reckless moratorium. the most technologically advanced and safest rigs will leave at first, and the crews who out decades of industry experience will be the first to leave, seeking work elsewhere. since our countries demand for oil has not dropped, more oil will be provided by tankers. the president must work with us
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to fight the oil and preserve the safety of offshore drilling and called for the consideration of a moratorium that will reduce safety, kill jobs, and because more dependent on foreign oil. -- and leave us more dependent on foreign oil. >> the explosion on the deepwater horizon resulted in the deaths of 11 workers and injured many additional workers. the worst environmental disaster -- since that time, we of what is the worst environmental disaster in -- we have witnessed the worst environmental disaster in our nation's history. shortcuts were taken to maximize profits at the expense of the safety. the costs have been great. bp said aside $20 billion for compensation, and federal government has been billed bp hundreds of millions of dollars for cleanup costs. according to the administration, approximately 40,000 personnel
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are involved in the cleanup and protection of the shoreline and the wildlife. over 6400 and vessels are assisting with the cleanup. while the cleanup continues, approximately 84th thousand square miles -- 84,000 square miles in the gulf of mexico remain closed. hard working americans are applying for compensation from the bp. leaks and seepage have been detected. the costs have been great indeed, had highlights the need to ensure that drilling operations are safe. we cannot afford and additional oil spill disaster. significant steps have been taking, including dividing the mineral management service into three separate organizations to prevent conflicts of interests going forward. as we have witnessed over the last three months, the cost of the status quo have been far too great, and we must take up
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proper action to make sure that this type of -- tragedy we must take appropriate action to make sure that this type of tragedy does not happen again. >> mr. braley of iowa, please. >> i waive my opening. >> that concludes the opening statements by all members of the oversight subcommittee and energy subcommittee. we have the hon. gale norton, the secretary of interior from 2001 to 2006, and hon. dirk kempthorne, secretary of interior from 2006 to 2009. the secretary is -- secretaries norton and kempthorne, we appreciate you being here. you have appeared here voluntarily, and we appreciate that. please be advised that you have the right under the rules of the house, be it advised by counsel
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during the testimony, should any of you be represented by counsel -- both indicate no. i ask you to please rise and raise your right hand and take the oath. do you swear that the testimony you're about to give is the truth, bluetooth, and nothing but the truth before the -- committee? the truth, he whole truth, nothing but the truth come up for this committee? >> i do. >> we will start with you, secretary norton. >> mr. chairman, members of the committee, i am deeply saddened and appalled by the deepwater horizon disaster. despite the important that americans determined the cause of the accident -- is vitally important that americans determine the cause of the disaster. it has had a positive impact on the affected families and communities and -- eight it has had an unprecedented attack on the affected families and
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communities and industries. as i consider the deepwater horizon disaster, i am constantly reminded of my earliest exposure to accident investigation. my father, who devoted his career to aviation, was occasionally involved in investigating the causes of crashes in small planes. the transportation safety board feed the information back to manufacturers -- would feed the information back to manufacturers and pilots. we need to seek the truth of what happened in the gulf of mexico said that we can prevent future tragedies all those affected deserve objective and systematic analysis of the problem. whether we are talking about flying in our plants are tapping offshore resources, getting the ball -- it's right flying airplanes or tapping offshore resources, getting the balance
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right requires professional inquiry. it has been nine years since i took the helm of the department of the interior, and i am not as conversant in all four issues as i was. i will mention only -- i am not as conversant in offshore issues as i was. until september 11, 2001, it had been risky to rely on unfriendly nations as sources of so much of our nation's will supply, but the attacks transformed that risk into a matter of grave -- into a grave matter of national security. without question, the most powerful ocs experience for me was the 2005 hurricane season. over 4000 offshore platforms were operating in the gulf of mexico went hurricanes rita and katrina pall mall the the area.
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safety measures were put to a city -- hurricanes rita and katrina pummelled the area. safety measures were put to a severe test. there was one weakness in the industry strong hurricane performance. the hurricane dislodged mobile drilling rigs from their moorings, dragging pipelines behind them and endangering other platforms with which they might collide. the amount of oil release was relatively small, and significant problems had been revealed. i brought and a mess and the industry together to figure out a solution to -- brought mms and the industry together to figure out a solution. we found out the problems and we sold them.
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there has been a lot of media attention to the mms service. pains me to see the vilification of mms and its employees. as revealed by the inspector general report after i left the department, a handful of employees blatantly violated conflict of interest requirements. their actions were wrong and unacceptable. but mms has over 1700 employees. the very few misbehaving employees had been blown out of proportion to create a public image of mms as a merry band of rogue employees seeking favor from industry. the public servants i encountered were entirely different. i will never forget the meeting at mms employees after hurricanes rita and katrina, and they were in temporary headquarters because there new
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orleans headquarters were no longer available. and they were crammed into a public rooms, a makeshift desk, working hard to keep up with all the demands that were coming through at that time -- approving pipeline repairs, addressing environmental and safety issues, expediting all of the requests, trying to regulate with common sense in incredibly difficult circumstances. these employees cope with a submerged homes, families in limbo, essentially homeless, but they were working out of dedication, serving the country, serving their gulf coast communities. these are the people who represent the minerals management service to me. industry and offshore energy supporters were always conscious of the political reaction and industry said expectation -- setbacks occasioned by the 1969 oil spill
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and the exxon valdez. no one wanted to repeat those failures, so industry had an incentive to maintain strong environmental productions. that encouraged planning and safety precautions. that formula worked well. three months ago, and for the many years proceeding, the regulatory response structure was based on a past history of success. since 1980, the largest spill from about in federal waters was only 800 -- from a blowout in federal waters was only 800 barrels. unfortunately, it now the federal government has established future policies -- must establish future policies and the aftermath of -- in the aftermath of this scenario beyond anything anyone has come -- has contemplated.
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offshore regulators need to have a good working relationship with industry, to understand what they are regulating, and to avoid imposing one size fits all rules that ultimately decrease safety. for half a century, the gulf mexico has produced 1/3 of our nation's oil, a huge economic benefit to america with an impressive safety record. the federal government should not throw out a system that was so successful for so long without understanding where the problems really are. thank you. >> thank you. secretary kemp 4, opening statement, please, sir --. secretary kempthorne, opening statement, please, sir. >> i am a dirk kempthorne, and i've testified before congress as a member of congress, governor of idaho, and this is
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the first time in the elevated position as a private citizen. 90 days ago, the oil spill exploded into the nation's consciousness. the accident at the deepwater horizon oil because 11 families to bury their sons and fathers and daughters. forced fishermen and others to lose their livelihoods. a gulf the gulf of mexico with the oil slicks that apart -- it engulfed the gulf of mexico with the oil slicks that tarred beaches. i accepted your request to talk with you about the tragic oil spill. in light of leaving the interior 18 months ago, without access to staff for briefing documents, i preface all my remarks with the understandable caveat, "as i recall." until now, i have declined
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multiple media requests to comment, believing america was best served by leaving those in charge to focus on the oil spill. i cannot comment on the exploration plan nt applications for the permit to drill, -- and the applications for the permit to drill, because these were evaluated and approved after i left interior. for 40 years prior to this accident, the interior department and the industry it is regulated had a remarkable record of success in sickly developing energy from oil plus -- in safely developing energy from oil platforms and riggs. -- rigs. before the bp oil spill, secretary salazar, on march 31, 2010, announced he had revised the 2007-20125-year plan, which
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calls for developing oil and gas resources while protecting other areas. on the issue of safety, secretary salazar said, "gulf of mexico oil and gas activities provide an important spur to technological innovation, an industry has proven a can conduct its activities statafely." that is consistent with my own impressions while serving as secretary of the interior. i offer these perspectives from my experience as secretary. this hearing this week the opportunity to address the issue of the ethical culture -- this hearing it gives me the opportunity to address the issue of the ethical culture at the minerals management service. i was summoned to promise to testify on inspector general reports on -- summit to cause to testify on inspector general
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reports. i am unequivocally told congress that the conduct disgusted me, and it would prompt personnel action. because that action was underway, i was advised by lawyers at the department of the interior that i could not discuss it in detail. now i can, including the fact that we fire people. -- fired people. john burton had been director during secretary norton's tenure, and he personally requested its record general to -- --she personally requested the inspector general to investigate. those involved were fired or demoted or disciplined to the maximum extent permissible. all these actions were taken before i left office. i would add a statement that the inspector general said in testimony before the house natural resources committee on september 18, 2008, "i believe
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that the environment of mms today is decidedly different than that described in our sports." i agree that 99.9% of the employees are ethical and hard- working and well intentioned. mr. chairman, members of the committee, they are part of your team. they are good people there. i received another report critical of the wilkie program. again, i took action. -- i received another report critical of the royalty program. again, i took action but i personally called former senators, republican and toocrat, and asked them perform an independent review of this program with no preconceived and outcomes. they did, with other talented experts. it included, as i recall, at 20
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recommendations directly from the inspector general's office be implemented all the recommendations that could be done when we were still in office, which as i recall, was about 70. i would ask that the testimony of the inspector general -- that the inspector general and i gave in to designate be made part of the record, as well as the report -- that i gave in to thousand eight be made part of the record, as well as the report. >> without objection, it will be. >> in 2007, we increased from 12.5% to 16.67%, and in 2008, the royalty rate was again increased to 18.75%. this the 50% increase in royalty rates paid by oil companies.
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these came as a result of a conversation i had with president george bush. he believed, and i agree, that 12.5% royalty rate was too low. i would note that not once, but twice, budget i submitted cost congress to repeal sections of the 2005 energy policy act that provided additional price incentives for deepwater oil and gas development. as secretary, i was required by the outer continental shelf lands act to issue a five-year plan, covering 2007 to 2012, for offshore drilling development. once we've finished at plan, it was required by law to be submitted to congress for a 60- day review congress had the power to reject that plan. congress did not. as i recall, i don't think any of legislation was introduced calling for the plan to be rejected. the plan up here. it was developed after extensive consultation with members of
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congress, tribal officials, industry, environmental organizations. we received comments from more than 100,000 interested citizens. 75% of the comments received from the public supported it some level of increase access to the domestic energy resources of the outer continental shelf. wi-fi-your plan, mr. chairman, was developed -- my five-year plan, mr. chairman, was developed with impact statements. these were based on the probability that a significant oil spill was small. it is historical information and models. when the 2007-20125-year plan was written, there had not been a major oil spill in 30 years. what real consequence of the
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deep water rights and accident is that these historical assumptions -- one of real consequence of the deepwater horizon accident is that these historical assumptions will be forever changed. an additional significant development was taking steps to implement the direction that secretary norton set in motion to develop off shore wind strategies. i would conclude with two thoughts. one, as you appropriately deal with this, and i appreciate the tone that it's been said by so many members of this committee, that this is an opportunity to bring out some issues before us, to find out what work and did not work, and what is the path forward, but i would encourage all officials working on this to keep in mind the great resources you have in the states, with the governors, a proven leaders who are pragmatic and want to be partners. they also have solutions to
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this. second, the consequence of the deepwater horizon accident is that it will forever change the offshore industry never again will a cabinet secretary take office and think that more oil skills from the seabed and from drilling operations in u.s. waters. never again will there be planning for events that will be low-probability events, but in the unlikely event they occurred, would be catastrophic. thank you, mr. chairman. >> let me thank both of you for your testimony and for voluntarily appearing. we all take five minutes each and that will take us to the limit. i push all members to stay within the five-minute range. otherwise we will have our runaway committee as opposed to run away well.
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mr. waxman, please. your will abide by euro admonition on the time. president bush and vice president cheney cost of energy task force suggested several ways to boost offshore production of -- and vice president cheney's energy task force suggested several ways to boost offshore production of oil and gas. there were numerous economic incentives to encourage industry to pursue offshore development. these included a proposal to reduce the welty's -- royalties private companies have to pay the american people when they take private land. it also recommended that the interior department identify and reduce impediments to exploration and production, both offshore and onshore. secretary norton, were those components of the bush energy plants the?
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-- the bush energy plans? >> to the best of my employedtion, we economic incentives on royalty relief -- >> my question is the general statement of the energy plan was to provide incentives to reduce impediments in order to develop more energy supplies. wasn't that the plan was all about? >> we are facing a severe energy crisis at that point in time -- >> i am asking if there is something wrong with that -- >> we were looking to increase energy production. >> the president convened a task force, and i was just try to find out who he met with. -- i was just trying to find out who he met with. we never got a list of the executives from industry he met with.
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we had to go to the supreme court to get that information. the president issued two executive orders intended to increase energy production. one of these required agencies to compile for every role making -- rulemaking and analysis whether the rule would adversely affect energy supply, e other concern to the completion -- concern to the completion of energy products. one of your advisers wrote a memo stating that the department was "fully committed to playing a role in this effort." secretary norton, did the department of the interior support president bush paused a policy of expediting drilling on the outer continental shelf -- did the department of the interior support president bush's policy of the expediting drilling on the outer
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continental shelf? >> we made sure that that permitting -- there was really not much change as to the ocs. we look primarily at onshore areas and the permitting process in those areas. >> i have limited time, but the answer is yes. you were trying to do this within your purview. secretary kempthorne, when you lead the department isn't it true that the bush administration plan on the energy policy act of 2005 encouraged to keep water and ultr -- deep water and ultra deep water drilling on the outer continental shelf? >> i believe so. >> that concerns me. i have no problems with the reports themselves, but i don't see any consideration of the importance of improving drilling safety while we encourage more
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exploration. committee staff reviewed the testimony each of you gave to congress when you were secretary and found no discussion of strengthening safety standards for blow out to vendors, -- for blowout preventers, no discussion of how we can make sure that industry can respond to a large oil spill. testimonyh of your is talk about the safety record of offshore drilling, one of the things we learned is that deep water and all drug-deepwater drilling might involve -- ultra- deepwater drilling might involve other risks. i am not trying to lay the disaster at the feet of the bush administration. in fact, i look forward to hearing from secretary salazar on some of these same questions. but i am trying to understand how we got here today and how congress and the regulators accepted the industry's promises
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of safety as we pushed full steam ahead without verifying that the industry could deliver on its promises. it is as if we said we would raise the speed limit to 100 miles per hour without thinking about how to improve and seat belts and air bags. the american people deserve an energy policy that considers the need for better roles as america takes a risk to find oil and gas. >> mr. barton for questions, please. >> i will try to hold it to five minutes as chairman waxman did. if we had the cabinet secretary here first, where most of the questions are, we would not take up as much time with two prior secretaries who have no official standing. but that is the kind of saying that we ought to have usual
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order. having said that, we are glad you two folks are here. the jaws act requires ships with u.s. crews to operate in the gulf mexico, but we have an existing statute court authority and the president and his designee can waive that in times of emergency. we had equipment was available to help us with the oil spill that was not allowed to come because the obama administration would not waive the jones act. do either of you have a comment on that? >> while this was not anything that i dealt with directly, i do know that the situations that occur with our oil skills in recent history have been in other countries -- with our oil spills in recent history have been in other countries. it makes sense to me to take advantage of the equipment and personnel that are available.
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i know that president bush waived the jones act as quickly as possible after hurricane rita and katrina so that we could bring in assistance from other countries. >> the magnitude of this catastrophe would suggest that you should be able to re all assets -- array all assets made available to you, and i do not believe that is what occurred. >> we have also been given authority to waive certain epa requirements. this was used during hurricane katrina. the governors of louisiana and mississippi have asked for such a waiver and that has not been implemented the coast guard was looking to prevent oil from reaching beaches, and yet the
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epa was refusing to grant a waiver because of some potential impact the was unknown at that time. do either of you have a comment on why the obama administration would not listen to and work with the affected governors of other states on this issue? >> once again drawing from the rita and katrina instances, we try to do everything we could to move as quickly as possible with common sense. i really cannot comment about all of the aspects of the current administration's decision making. i am not there, i don't know the details. >> hi referenced in my comments that we need to utilize these governors, a very talented people. when i was governor of idaho, and we had katrina and rita, i
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was in continued telephone communication with gov. barbour, perry. i could implement the idaho national guard, a variety of and we move faster than the federal bureaucracy was moving. we are still the united states of america, and working together with the states can yield a great results. again, i just urge the partnership with those down in the gulf coast region. there was one more question i want to ask in the last minute. much is made by some of my friends on the majority about the fact that we passed energy policy act, which put in some ultradeep language, and when that was implemented, the
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clinton administration made the decision not to require a price trigger for royalties, but we did provide a volumetric trigger. those were put in place or oil per barrel was below $30 per barrel. i think it was even below $20 per barrel. now it is $70 or $80 per barrel. it does not make sense to happen -- not to have some sort of price will the trigger. but it was the clinton administration that made that decision initially, not the bush administration did is that correct? >> yes, we found that the clinton administration had admitted price thresholds -- omitted priced the shultz from some of the leases -- price thresholds from some of the leases. >> we will leave this hearing to
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go live to the u.s. house. among the bill's being worked on it is one on service transportation issues and another on aid to haiti. live coverage on c-span.
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for this nation and our place in the globalized world. strengthen us, less we become tired, further us in our search to deepen the commitment of serious study and hard work until we find security and justice for your people, especially those in most need. may your kingdom come, your will be done through our humble efforts both now and forever. amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from
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missouri. >> thank you, mr. speaker. if all would stand, hand over heart. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. . the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> i rise today to honor and celebrate the life of patricia of indiana. she made everyone she touched a better person through her caring, loving ways. she was born in 1930, graduated from college and married the love of her life, art.
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art said he felt lucky to be married to pat and her devotion to everyone is a model to everyone. she was a proud mother, grandmother and great grandmother. her work for the women's care center had a plaque that stated, we will not be serving for women and babies these days if it were not for this woman. we know she is surrounded by god's grace, a loving family and we know we will see her again. mr. donnelly: pat, thank you for all the kindness you showed and the lives you touched. may god hold you in the palm of his hand. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise? mr. boehner: unanimous consent to address the house for one minute.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. boehner: mr. speaker, the american people are asking where are the jobs. and just this morning we found -- found out that housing starts fell in the month of june to their lowest level in eight months. consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level in the last 11 months. we need to get americans back to work and we need to get american businesses back open again. but we're not going to get there if the president continues to take money and freedom away from american employers. whether it's through the stimulus bill, obamacare, the national energy tax, or this natural regulatory bill. with three million jobs lost and unemployment at 9.5% and with trillion dollar deficits it's clear to everyone except the president that his big government agenda is not working. we need to cut spending now in order to help create jobs in america. but we have no budget to clean up the mess. we have no plan to move free
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trade agreements that could create millions of american jobs and we have no plan to stop the largest tax increase in american history for american families and small businesses. republicans are listening through america speaking out and offering better solutions that will limit the size of this government and empower small businesses across our country. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland rise? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, i rise today in commemoration of the 36th anniversary of the turkish invasion of cyprus. mr. sarbanes: the occupation of this tiny island republic is a symptom that turkey's indifference of intolerance and democratic values. they continue to resettle some 180,000 an tollian turks in the homes and possessions of the 100,000 greeks that was evicted from the occupied territories.
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the turkish military is eradicating he had lenic and christian heritage with all of the 500 greek orthodox churches there having been looted, desecrated or destroyed. on this the 36th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of cyprus, the united states should demand an immediate withdrawal of the 45,000 turkish soldiers now occupying northern cyprus and should continue to press this issue in every interaction with turkish officials. this should promote a values-based alliance with turkey that will strengthen nato and reinforce collective western security. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. mr. cantor: thank you, mr. speaker. a bitter feud erupted in washington and it wasn't your typical partisan spat between liberals and conservatives or republicans and democrats.
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the fight was between the white house and american businesses. since when, america, has it been acceptable for american employers in the white house to be on opposing teams. how can we expect them to get the economy back on track when they've become so frustrated about the ideological and anti-competitive agenda coming out of washington? the white house has embarked on a summer p.r. campaign in an attempt to show that they are not in fact anti-business. but even the best operations aren't outfitted with time machines. over the past 18 months, stimulus, cap and trade, health care have contributed to a perfect storm of uncertainty and debt, forcing americans to hunker down. mr. speaker, american business men and women aren't just a part of our economy or some constituency to be dealt with. they are our economy. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon rise?
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>> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. defazio: well, trickled down economics is back. it worked so well before. we just heard the minority leader, tax cuts will solve everything. tax cuts targeted toward the wealthiest among us, the superrich, will have a trickle down effect that will put people back to work. and lower the deficit. it's kind of magic, isn't it? the republicans forget that one half of the so-called stimulus, nearly one half was tax cuts. didn't put anybody back to work. most people don't know they got them. $8 a week out of your withholding. and guess what? we borrowed all of that money. it will be paid back in nearly 30 years. there are two sides of solving the deficits in this country? cut unnecessary spending and, yes, the wealthiest among us are going to have to pay a little bit of their fair share by repealing the bush tax cuts on those folks. they want to deny that.
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they want to say, oh, we can have the cake and eat it too. we'll lower revenues and we'll balance the budget. now, if you eliminated the entire federal government except for about 60% of the pentagon, no justice, no prisons, no border patrol, nothing, you still wouldn't get the balance. you have to deal with revenue. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. and try to follow that. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. pence: thank you, mr. speaker. you know, this is a difficult time in the life of our nation. the american people are focused on jobs. but given the recent political rhetoric from the white house and what we heard about letting tax cuts expire, we know one thing, democrats in washington still don't get it. it's amazing. in the midst of the worst economy in 25 years, democrats are actually talking about embracing the largest tax increase in american history. you know, i don't know anybody back in indiana who think they pay too little in taxes.
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the american people needs to know if the democrats get their way, every tax bracket will increase in january, 2011, every single one. you don't raise taxes during the worst recession in 25 years. their national energy tax and their failed stimulus policy, republicans are going to stand in the gap against their job-killing agenda. we will protect taxpayers from the largest tax increase in american history with everything we got. the american people know america -- washington doesn't tax too little. washington spends too much. and republicans are on the side of the american people. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? >> i ask permission to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. polis: mr. speaker, there are hundreds of thousands of children in our country, cheerleaders on a high school cheerleading squad, members of the high school football team, students who work hard and play by the rules, get ready for
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college and, yet, they are unable to ever enter the work force legally or go to college. why? because their parents violated the law and brought them here when they were 1 or 2 or 3 years old. the dream act will address and help these hundreds of thousands of de facto americans who in most cases don't even have a memory of another country and frequently don't even speak any other language other than english fluently. regardless of where one is in the larger issue of emigration we form, -- immigration reform, we shouldn't hurt our children. the bipartisan dream act would recognize the hundreds of thousands of de facto americans as actual americans. it catches up with where people already are and helps our nation be able to benefit from the hard work and study of these wonderful americans. i call upon my colleagues to
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pass the dream act and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from washington rise? mrs. mcmorris rodgers: to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. mcmorris rodgers: margaret thatcher once said, the problem with socialism is you run out of people's money. it's true and we see it in europe, greece and others in the european union have spent their way into bankruptcy and unfortunately we're following in the same path. they're requesting $300 billion from the i.m.f. while most people in america don't realize is america is the largest contributor to the i.m.f. we're literally underwriting a european bailout. i wrote a resolution calling for an up or down vote by congress on this proposal and i posted my idea on america speaking out. right now any citizen can go to america speaking out to discuss and vote this idea. i encourage them to vote yes and to spread the word to
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others. let's keep the momentum going. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from illinois rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. schakowsky: 3.4 million retirees, 4.2 million children rely on medicare. its benefits are modest. the average retiree benefit is about $14,000 a year, less than $12,000 for women retirees but essential. one in four retirees depends on social security for almost all of their income. on august 14, social security turned 75 years old. it never missed a check and is cherished by americans of all ages. we're able to celebrate its anniversary because in 2005 democrats beat back president bush's and congressional republicans' privatization
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efforts. today, there are new republicans calling for privatization. once again, democrats will step forward to protect and strengthen social security so we can celebrate this national treasure for generations to come. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. dreier: mr. speaker, the american people are hurting, we all know that. there are some specific numbers to which we can point that underscore that pain. first, 9.5, the current percentage of unemployment. 14, the number of consecutive months that the unemployment rate has been in excess of 9.4%. 125,000, the number of jobs that were lost last month. 13 trillion, the level of our national debt. one trillion, the annual deficit as we head towards the end of the fiscal year. zero, the number of times before this year that the house
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has ever failed and pass a budget. zero, the number of proposals by the democratic majority to cut wasteful spending and provide accountability for their out-of-control spending practices. zero, the number of pro-growth proposals that the democratic majority has offered. the american people want nothing more, mr. speaker, than to create jobs and get our economy back on track. unfortunately, the refusal to pass a budget, the refusal to rein in wasteful spending, the refusal to allow proven pro-growth economic policies to be put into place is impinging our opportunity to do that. republicans stand ready to put into place the kinds of policies that will ensure that the pain the american people are feeling will be diminished. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. . mr. walz: it's a time to reflect on the generations and hundreds
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of millions of americans that counted on social security to be there to have dignity in retirement to provide quality of life. there's millions of stories out there, very similar to the one in my family. as a young man watching my father die of a lengthy illness and a 9-year-old brother at home and a stay-at-home mother watching social security survivor benefits be there to allow my little brother to go on to college and my mother to go back in the work force. many people will say and they are right. pull yourself up by the bootstraps. they were right of that. we didn't have any boots. they were loaned to us by social security. and for that we were paid back 10 times over. our country is stronger. in august we should celebrate the 75th anniversary and many more to come. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. carter: thank you, mr. speaker. i love these debates about social security and this conversation about social security, but if you don't have a job, who is going to pay the social security? it's really about jobs.
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i had an interview today with some radio folks in my district and they asked the question, have we created jobs but government jobs? how come we are creating government jobs that get paid more than the private sector jobs? when did we get confused about that? they wanted me to answer the question. where are the jobs for the folks in texas? where are the jobs for the folks in the other states? why are all the jobs just in washington, d.c.? growing the government. this administration has destroyed thousands of private sector jobs by taking over and federalizing the student loan program. and making loans harder to get and taking longer to be processed. now president obama and this administration have unilaterally killed tens of thousands of jobs in the gulf in direct violation of a federal court order. now, is this a way we create jobs for america? the question they want to know, where are the jobs? so with a job we could pay our
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share of social security. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from maryland rise? ms. edwards: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. edwards: mr. speaker, i rise today to commemorate the upcoming 75th anniversary of social security and express my support for the financial security of millions of retired americans. representing maryland's fourth congressional district, i serve many who oversee and administer the social security administration. one of my constituents i have the honor of meeting in a retirement community in mitchellville, maryland. robert was one of the chief architects of social security, the program we know today. mr. ball was social security's chief administrator from 1962 to 1973. he was described once as, quote, the undisputed spiritual leader and chief advocate. he served three presidents, republicans and democrats, to make sure it remained strong for all of us. he passed away in january of
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2008, but he left a legacy barely known outside washington, but a program that's the backbone of america's social safety net. at time when republicans are threatening the prifings of social security -- privatization of social security, mr. ball would say not now. can you imagine what would have happened a year ago when our nation suffered its worst financial crisis since the great fregs? our seniors would have lost everything and our young people would start from scratch. the american people deserve better. democrats are going to give them better. we need to get our economy whack on track, get people whack to -- back to work, contribute to social security. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? without objection. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, in addition to being a legendary actor, writer sarningser, pat boone serves as supposeman for 60-plus an advocacy group for senior citizens. pat is an advocate for liberty and defender of the
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constitution. his contributions for our military service members are inspiring. pat developed a documentary for my country to promote the significance of the national guard. pat boone is ahead of his times. back in 2004 a commenced speech at pepperdine university, boone stressed the need for involvement and called for a new boston tee party movement. today tee part is a household term, we should note boston was not the only city with a tea rebellion during the revolutionary war. before the famous boston tea party, patriots in charleston, south carolina, impounded the tea to protest taxes and in 1776 sold the tea to financial revolution. concerned citizens, taxed enough already. it's time to give americans tax relief and create jobs. in conclusion, god bless our troops, we'll never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise?
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without objection. ms. chu: i rise today to support the millions of americans caught in the crosshairs of republicans' political calculations. today a partisan minority blocked relief of those laid off during this recession. this obstruction doesn't just keep food off american tables. it keeps americans out of work. people like annette. last month she lost her benefits. now she can't afford the gas she needs to drive to job interviews. like the vast majority of those on unemployment, annette uses these funds as a bridge to her next job to replace it. the notion that relief discourages people from seeking jobs is not only wrong but outrageous. so today i call on republicans to stop hurting american workers. stop playing politics with their lives. and start letting the senate and millions of americans get back to work. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the
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gentlewoman from ohio rise? >> i rise to address the house. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. miss shultz: mr. speaker, last week the state of ohio announced that its unemployment rate for june was 10.5%. every county in my district saw an increase and in some areas higher than 14%. and that's before taking into account those people that have given up looking for work and the underemployed. no wonder my constituents continually ask, where are the jobs? business leaders in my district and around the country continue to say the same thing, we need to stop this reckless spending in washington and stop pursuing job-killing policies. mrs. schmidt: when businesses are faced with new taxes to cover the government's takeover of health care, the uncertainty of tax legislation, and litany of other taxes, how are they expected to hire new workers and reinvest in their business?
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i am gravely concerned about the direction that this congress is taking with our economy. the reckless spending has to stop. and the massive debt which we are saddling our children and grandchildren with is unconscionable. it is time to put sound fiscal policies in place. let's spend less, keep taxes low, and help create an environment in which small businesses can thrive. only then in ohio can we finally say, here come the jobs. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, other the last 75 years social security has been secure and reliable for americans approaching retirement. for some americans, it's the backbone of their retirement. for others, it's all they have. six out of 10 senior citizens in our country receive the majority of their income from social security. four out of 10 widows do. as a matter of fact, after our
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country's most recent economic disaster, even more seniors were left with only social security to rely on because they saw their retirement accounts dwindle at the hands of wall street. mr. schauer: we have already seen what can happen when we let wall street c.e.o.'s gamble with our life savings. we lose. we request not -- we cannot afford to gamble with our nation's golden years and privatization is just that, gambling. we must work together to strengthen the promise of social security for our children and for our grandchildren. and still meet the needs of those who depend on it. now for income. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. everyone is asking, where are the jobs? when will the liberal leadership in the house take action to get
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us out of this perpetual economic slump and have a plan to provide the jobs that american families need? unemployment nationally remains high at 9.5% for june, with the u.s. economy losing 125,000 jobs in that month alone. south florida's unemployment rate has steadily increased to 12.8%. to add insult to injury, in my congressional district, we are still reeling from the perception of the gulf oil spill in our area. b.p. might have temporarily sealed the leak, but the damage has been done to south florida's tourism economy. commercial fishermen, charter boat captains, mom and pop restaurants they are all feeling the economic pinch. it is time to take a proven approach of providing tax relief, regulatory relief for families and small businesses
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while reducing the debt which is delaying future economic growth. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. farr: thank you, mr. speaker. 10 years ago the united states congress enacted legislation to create an oceans commission to look at how we can prevent the oceans from dying. yesterday the president of the united states enacted by executive order the first national oceans policy and governance for the oceans and great lakes of the united states. our greatest national heritage. and our greatest national trust. we the people are going to be taking care of the oceans like they have never been taken care of before. we are not going to allow the conflicts of the sea of overfishing, overmining, overdrilling, of overeverything and dumping all our waste and garbage and sewage into the ocean. we are now going to have a policy that's like the clean air policy where we cleaned up the
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air in america. thank you, mr. president, for being the best steward our oceans have ever had and implementing the recommendations of the national ocean commission which congress enacted but could not enact legislation. hopefully we'll move out from here and the world will see and the children will appreciate the actions that the president took yesterday. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, over the fourth of july district work period i met with small business leaders in central new jersey. we discussed the state of the economy and how new jersey's job creators are in dire need of premarket solutions that will help them create jobs. mr. lance: instead congress has put forth job-killing policies that include higher taxes, unchecked spending, new health care man ditz that continue to put a drag on small businesses across the nation. that's why i have joined a number of my colleagues from the
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northeast in authoring a small business assistance plan that provides important tax relief, reduces paperwork requirements, and boosts small business lending. our proposed measure focuses on letting small business owners keep more of what they earn to hire workers, buy new equipment, expand their companies, and spend less time filling out paperwork created by federal mandate. i urge my colleagues to help small businesses across the nation and co-sponsor h.r. 5554. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from ohio rise? >> request permission to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. sutton: mr. speaker, next month we will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of social security. before 1935, half of america's seniors lived in poverty. since f.d.r. signed social security into law, we have upheld a sacred trust to our parents and grandparents, but
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after decades of hard work, raising their different, and -- children, and defending the u.s., they would be able to retire with dignity and respect. three weeks ago my colleague from ohio, the house republican leader, implied we should raise the retirement age to 70 for everyone. office workers and construction workers alike and cut social security benefits to help reduce the deficit and pay for the war in afghanistan. raiding social security in this way is both irresponsible and it is a breach of trust. we should not be gutting social security and breaching our sacred trust to america's seniors. it's amazing republicans are willing to gut social security and refuse unemployment compensation during these challenging times while at the same time arguing that we must preserve the tax cuts for the superwealthy. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri rise? >> to address the house for one minute.
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revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. hardworking individuals and entrepreneurs have always been the lifeblood of our economy. they create jobs, they secure innovation, they have made the american free enterprise system the envy of the world. as americans we all understand if you work hard you can be successful. unfortunately, that spirit appears to be undergoing a fundamental issue of transportation in which government comes before free enterprise. the trend back in 2009 when the government passed the so-called stimulus package. that was supposed to boost the economy and keep unemployment under 8%. more than a year after unemployment remains above 9%. . around this country there is a fear of uncertainty. mr. luetkemeyer: new taxes, man indicates and regulations and countless new laws and proprosed laws are threatening to strangle our nation's entrepreneurs and workers. as i travel around my district,
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a prevailing feeling of uncertainty about what lies ahead has made employers hesitant to create new jobs. and until this fear and uncertainty about the future is delayed, the american people will continue to wonder and ask the question, where are the jobs? i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from iowa rise? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. braley: mr. speaker, unemployment benefits and social security benefits are a safety net. they're not a lottery handout. and as we struggle to try to get the senate to pass an extension of unemployment benefits with 15 million out-of-work americans who are depending on us to pay their bills, it's important to remember that the nonpartisan congressional budget office has said that passage of unemployment benefit extensions is one of the most cost-effective and fast-acting ways to stimulate the economy. but lost in all of this debate and all of this delay is the
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human side, so i want to share the story fresh from the headline of today's "dubuque telegraph herald." a family with a 32-year-old dad and a 30-year-old mom could provide for their children a year ago but times have changed because mom suffered an injury at work and hasn't been able to work since march. dad lost his job a couple months later and their unemployment benefits expired in july. the family includes a girl, 14 and 10, and boys 11 and 7. these are the americans who need us to act now. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from michigan rise? mrs. miller: unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. miller: mr. speaker, last week president obama was in holland, michigan, announcing the award of an economic stimulus grant to a korean company, 300 jobs, $150 million, or at a cost of
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$500,000 per job, all financed by the american taxpayer. every republican in this chamber voted against the stimulus because we don't think that having the federal government pick winners and losers is the way back economically. we don't think borrowing over 40 cents for every dollar that we spend is a way to create jobs. we don't think that this out-of-control spending and piling mountains and mountains of debt on future generations is the kind of america that our founding fathers envisioned. but then, the president, while accepting our state's gracious hospitality and respect for his office, chose to take a cheap, partisan, political shot at congressman pete hoekstra, whose district he was in. president obama is proving himself to be the most partisan president in our nation's history, and incivility will not create jobs. instead, it's politics as usual and it's certainly not change we can believe in. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from colorado rise?
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>> i ask permission to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. markey: mr. speaker, as we debate ways to tackle our growing deficit and create jobs, i rise today to call on this congress to reject proposals that would privatize social security or medicare. colorado seniors rely on social security and medicare, and as we struggle to climb out of a deep recession, the security, provided by these programs, is more critical than ever. dismantling medicare and adding trillions of dollars to the deficit with a risky privatization scheme that gambles seniors' financial security in the stock market is just the wrong way to go. rolling the dice on the financial security our seniors depend on in a financial system that recently almost collapsed is reckless in the extreme and has been roundly rejected by the american people. we can cut waste, fraud and abuse from social security and medicare without cutting a penny in benefits, and i will fight to protect the promise we
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made to american seniors. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> i ask permission to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. pitts: mr. speaker, as the american people ask where are the jobs, the president's economic advisors reply with, weak statistics about the wasteful government stimulus program. all the while we are losing billions of dollars to tariffs that could have been eliminated years ago. it's been 1,337 days since the u.s. and colombia negotiated a free trade agreement. for over three years, the democrat leadership in congress has refused to consider the legislation to ratify that treaty. in that time american businesses have paid an estimated $2.8 billion in tariffs. this is $2.8 billion that could have gone to good american jobs, and this number grows higher every day. you can see it on the republican ways and means committee website. we need to stop wasting our
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time hoping that more government spending and borrowing will revive the economy. instead, we need to unleash american businesses and entrepreneurs to expand into new markets, passing the colombia-south -- colombia, south korea and panama free trade agreement will help this. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, during the first decade of this century, the bush economy destroyed the middle class. mr. courtney: today we are at a point where 72% of social security retirees have elected early retirement age 62 because they have no other financial choice. but despite the fact that they have voted with their feet in the unprecedented numbers, what is mr. boehner's proposal for social security, which he told "the pittsburgh gazette" a couple years ago, he wants to raise the retirement age to age 70. if there is a more out-of-touch statement with what the middle
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class of this country is going through and what an out-of-touch proposal to basically totally knock the stuffing out of the retirement security, mr. boehner's proposal to raise social security retirement age to 70 to -- would disamate what's left of the american middle class. we can't let that happen. democrats will protect this system, which is celebrating the 75th anniversary this august, a problem that is solvent until 2037, and with moderate, balanced changes can protect the solvency for far future years and generations. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from montana rise? mr. rehberg: to drefment the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. rehberg: in the last month alone, i've hosted 11 listening sessions around montana promising to bring the message back to washington with me. the message, montanaans are fed up with the reckless spending that every man, woman and child is on the hook for more than
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$40,000 in federal debt. i heard them. which is why i joined the house republicans in the earmark moratorium, but not everyone is listening. in three appropriations subcommittee meetings, i had the legislation to freeze spending at fiscal year 2010 levels. it would have saved taxpayers more than $18 billion. but each time they were rejected on a party line vote. see, the president has even promised a spending freeze. next year. so this year they're increasing spending to compensate. it's a sneaky shell game that only ensures that the taxpayers lose. but montanans told me loud and clear they want spending reform and that's what i'm going to do and i'm keep fighting for it every day i'm here. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> i ask permission to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to strongly support our nation's seniors.
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mr. tonko: the government programs upon which they most depend, medicare and social security are being threatened by congressional republicans. recently, those on the other side of the aisle have been championing drastic changes to both programs. they want to cut social security benefits, raise the retirement age to 70 and turn social security benefits over to the stock market. they want to convert medicare to a voucher program so that seniors will get a coupon to go out of their own way to buy a regular individual insurance policy. and what do congressional republicans propose to do with these savings? certainly they want to pay for the war. i will not stand for stripping senior benefits down. i will not stand for balancing the budget on the back of hardworking retirees. social security and medicare benefits belong to our nation's seniors and congressional democrats will not stand for windling them down or stealing them away. social security represents the promise and that is if you work hard and pay into the system you will have financial security in your retirement
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years. it's been that way for 75 years. now is not the time to change it. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to speak to the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. fleming: mr. speaker, while the unemployment rate is 9.5% and while the gulf coast continues to recover from a devastating oil spill, the people of louisiana are wondering what they did to deserve president obama's moratorium on jobs. according to a recent report by l.s.u. professor jim richardson, the obama administration's six-month moratorium on offshore drilling will result in the loss of 17,400 good-paying jobs in louisiana alone. just another piece of the democrats' job-killing machine.
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hundreds of millions of dollars in state and local revenue will also be lost as well. all in the name of a moratorium that the federal courts and the administration's own expert advisors have rejected completely. the people of louisiana would much prefer to have jobs than unemployment benefits. it's truly unbelievable that when washington should be focused on helping the gulf coast recover from a catastrophic tragedy the white house is putting forth policies -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise? >> request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. wilson: thank you, mr. speaker. next month we celebrate the 75th anniversary of social security. as we mark this important anniversary, i believe it's important to reflect on the millions of seniors that have
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been helped by social security over the years. i've met with hundreds of ohioans recently, and they're concerned about social security's future. the message to me has always been clear, they don't want to undermine any part of social security and certainly not with privatization. they oppose any measure that would jeopardize the safety net that social security provides them in retirement, and i agree . it's true that social security is facing some real challenges. however, i strongly believe that congress can focus on keeping these promises to our seniors instead of putting the entire social security at risk leaving it to the whims of wall street. thank you, mr. speaker. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from nebraska rise? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. for far too long, the approval of pending trade agreements with countries such as
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colombia, south korea and panama have languished awaiting approval by congress. according to research conducted by our colleagues on the ways and means committee, the inaction of these trade agreements is costing america jobs and market access. in fact, implementing the colombia trade agreement alone could create an estimated eight million u.s. jobs. mr. smith: every day we delay, the more our economy loses to our international competitors. earlier this month, the canada parliament improved their access to this market and putting our producers at even more of a disadvantage. trade is an indispenseable part of american prosperity and congress needs to take decisive action on these trade agreements. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from wisconsin rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. kagen: mr. speaker, let us never forget. never forget how we got into this economic mess. it was the losing republican ideas that brought forward an
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economic policy that drove our economy into the ditch, and now they want the keys to the car back. but after driving our economy into the ditch, we cannot allow that to happen. what did they deliver? two wars at the same time without paying a dime, a $00 billion handout to big drug companies, helping to ship our jobs overseas, an $8 trillion loss of wealth in our housing bubble as we crashed into a deep recession. we cannot allow them to have the keys to this car again. we're beginning to turn this economy around. we're rebuilding america. job by job, block by block and city by city. we need to work together in this but we can't go back to those failed and losing policies of the past. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from kansas rise? ms. jenkins: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. jenkins: just last week the
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plant in kansas announced it was shutting down and taking 160 good jobs from american workers and sending those jobs to mexico where they won't have to deal with the government intent on hitting them with stifling tax increases and job-killing regulations. this administration is discouraging private sector job growth and driving jobs out of my district and out of the united states. . as for the 160 workers losing their jobs, they won't give up. i know the mayor is an employee even though he's losing his job, he and the identify yolea city commission and chamber are initialating a plan to recruit a new manufacture to town. so any business is out there looking to grow who needs a strong and ready work force and a great midwest community,
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kansas could be a place for you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from new mexico rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. teague: mr. speaker, i rise today to protect a promise made to more than 50 million americans who depend on social security to keep their roof over their heads and food on the table. 75 years ago in the wake of our country's worst economic crisis, we introduced social security as a pledge to stand by hardworking americans. despite old age, disability, or the death of loved ones, and as we have learned from hard financial times, we are still keeping this promise to our mothers and our fathers, to our grandparents and to our children. unfortunately, there are those who would love to break this promise by privatizing social security we would be gambling with this important safety net that many of our seniors rely
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on. subjecting people's entire life savings to the wind of the stock market and threatening our own financial security. we cannot allow america's retirement to be gambled away. i stand by this commitment i made to southern new mexico and i urge my colleagues to join me in protecting social security. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise again today to urge democrats to hear the voice of the american people as they ask where are the jobs? there's no budget, there's still no plan to create jobs, get this economy rolling again. the democrats have got to stop their crazy out-of-control spending and get serious about job creation. this will happen through the expansion of the private sector and not through the expansion of government. we've got to encourage small businesses not penalize them before taxes and regulations. house republicans have offered
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commonsense solutions to get our economy back on track. rolling back taxes, cutting spending, cutting the deficit, and the debt, removing regulations, and balancing the budget. these crucial actions must happen to get this house in order and get americans back to work. mr. speaker, the american people want to know, where are the jobs? i want to know where are your solutions? we have offered ours. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> where are the jobs? my friends in the party opposite should know. mr. ellison: they are the ones who lost them of the the fact is is that in bush's last month in office he lost 741,000 jobs, an amazing feat. my friends on the party opposite talk about debt. is it the same party that has two unpaid wars, $700 billion cuts in the wealthy unpaid for,
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and others, my parties of the party opposite sat by and did nothing while foreclosures, explosions in executive pay brought us the largest number of foreclosures since the great depression, refused to regulate in any particular way and now they say where are the jobs? and they talk of debt? this is an amazing amount of -- i wonder, where are the jobs? they should know. they are the ones who lost them. we are trying to find them and we are being successful. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? without objection. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. new usa poll today reported 3/4 of those 18 to 4 don't expect to get a social security check when they retire. they deserve much better. in 35, 1935 that is, workers
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were told that the payroll tax would never exceed 2% of the first $3,000 of earnings. sadly since then congress has raised the payroll tax 14 times, now at 12.4%, and the taxable wage base 10 times. time and history prove congress cannot resist the temptation to raise taxes on social security. we got to find a better way forward without raising taxes, without any changes, americans want action not scare tactics. let's start working together on fair, commonsense solutions so we can ensure social security will be there for those who need it most without raising taxes. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from hawaii rise? ms. hirono: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. hirono: mr. speaker, this
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year we celebrate the 75th birthday of social security. since democratic president franklin roosevelt signed the social security act in 1935, americans have known that they can rely on social security benefits when they retire. today over 160,000 hawaii seniors and millions of seniors in every other state receive monthly social security benefits. but republican leaders in congress have a new plan to privatize social security, balancing the budget on the backs of our seniors. does this sound familiar? george bush and congressional republicans fought to privatize social security in 2005. seniors all across the country rose up in angry protest. if republicans had succeeded then, seniors would have lost a trillion in the stock market meltdown of the bush recession. unbelievably the republicans
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still have not given up on their idea to privatize social security. you have to ask, what is it that makes them so deaf to our seniors in our country. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? without objection. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, we are hearing welcome news that house leaders may accept a clean supplemental appropriations bill if it is sent back from the senate. i introduced a house version of that bill last week. if we had voted then t. would be on the president's desk right now. the army and marine corps operating accounts are about to run into the red. without these supplemental funds, the pentagon will begin cutbacks, reduce training, delay equipment purchases, possibly even delay pay for our soldiers and marines. by passing this clean supplemental, we can avert these dangerous situations.
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we can provide disaster relief funds to the areas that need it. we can avoid adding tens of billions of dollars to the federal deficit that would have come from add-ons passed by this house two weeks ago. i urge my colleagues please pass a clean supplemental bill now. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas rise? without objection. ms. jackson lee: mr. speaker, the supplemental that this leadership passed was to create jobs and i hope that the bill that comes from the senate will embrace the need for american jobs. in ohio the home of our minority leader there is a 10.5% unemployment. can anyone explain to me why the republicans continue to obstruct the extension of unemployment benefits? benefits that will benefit those who work but who have worked and who need to pay their mortgages and provide food on the table. again we have another story. here is the story of privatizing social security or extending the age. i remember the fight. i was here on the floor of the
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house when seniors were calling our phone lines and saying, don't privatize social security. thank goodness for the wisdom of our seniors if we had privatized social security, they would have collapsed in this abysmal disgrace of wall street. no money. but social security has been paying on a faithful basis for now for decades. we know that 72% of the american public don't want us to raise the age, yet the minority leader wants to raise it so he can pay for the iraq and afghan war, bring the soldiers home. recognize that 36 million families are in need of social security. seniors are in need of social security. keep our social security the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. diaz-balart: mr. speaker, today is a physician's 49th birthday. he has dedicated his life to defending human rights and democracy in cuba, and for that he was sentenced to 25 years in
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prison. while this cr and thousands of political prisoners sit in jail, the castro regime is using them as a chip to gain acceptance into the european union. even more troubling is the evident collaboration between the cuban catholic church and the castro regime. the church is cooperating with the regime and only those families of political prisoners that the regime asking them to talk to. while dr. busette and others don't even get a call. mr. speaker, we must not -- must continue to stand tall torques stand with the cuban people and demand the release of every single political prisoner in cuban -- in the cuban gulags. until every single one is released we cannot stop speaking. we will continue to stand with the political prisoners. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from nevada rise? without objection.
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ms. titus: mr. speaker, for 75 years older americans have relied on the guaranteed benefit that social security provides. this monthly check provides the safety net from poverty and is a key component to a dignified retirement after a lifetime of work. seniors contributed to social security. they earned it. they deserve it. they depend on it. yet as we celebrate 75 years of this outstanding program, it's once again under attack by republicans who want to dismantle the system and spend trillions of dollars in a risky privatize scheme that gambles senior sentence' savings in the stoket market while lining the pockets of wall street. does that sound familiar? it should. republicans tried to do the same thing under the bush administration. this represents yet another attempt to return to failed policies that created the worst economic situation since the great depression.
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well, i stand here committed to fighting back against such programs and protecting social security so the 30,000 seniors in southern nevada who depend on it won't be abandoned in their golden years. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? without objection. mr. price: thank you, mr. speaker. senator paul coverdell one of the most kind, thoughtful, and deliberate members of congress passed away 10 years ago this past sunday. he was a strong leader in georgia for decades serving as a state senator for 19 years and united states senator for seven years before his untimely death of a cerebral hemorrhage on july 18, 2000. his dedication to service extended far beyond the political arena. he was a veteran of the united states army and served as the director of the peace corps from 1989 to 1991. in honor of senator coverdell the centers for disease control established the paul coverdell national acute stroke registry
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that helped implement state registry able to track care for acute strokes and help expand the knowledge and improve the quality of care. his legacy lives on. he was an inspiration to so many of us. to dream big dreams and answer the call to preserve this great nation. he knew that the wonder and awe of america rests in the principle of our founding documents and people. we will always remember his patriotism and wisdom. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? without objection. >> mr. speaker, when it comes to social security americans have two choices, on the one hand there is the democratic party that created social security, strength yen it, and will continue to de -- defend it from attacks. on the other republicans on a never-ending crusade to dismantle this program. mr. deutsch: the ranking member of the budget committee plans to slash benefits and turn social security over to wall street.
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the former president bush and republicans had their way, trillions would have been lost through the financial crisis. instead the american people said no to privatize or the market crashed the trust fund did not lose a penny. the american people have consistently rejected the failed republican idea that threaten the financial security of seniors. don't be misled. we can protect social security's solvency for the ages and we can do it without slashing benefits, privatizing the program, or making people work into their golden years. i stand to defend america's seniors and they deserve nothing less. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama rise? without objection. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i rise today to speak to the ongoing destruction of the american dream. as the dense fog of increasing


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